ATF seal
ATF text
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Thursday, February 20, 2020
Contact: Amanda M. Hils

Baltimore County Man Sentenced for Impersonation of Police Officer, Posed as ATF Special Agent

BALTIMORE — Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Justin J. King sentenced William Lee Foster, age 53, on February 12, 2020 for impersonation of a police officer, specifically for pretending to be an ATF Special Agent from ATF’s Houston Field Division. He pled guilty to this charge on the same day as sentencing.

This sentencing was announced by Baltimore County Assistant State’s Attorney Adam Lippe, Chief of Economic Crimes; ATF Baltimore Field Division Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones; and the Sheriff John W. Anderson of the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office.

“It is a complete abuse of public trust for someone to impersonate a law enforcement officer,” said ATF Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones. “ATF Special Agents take our role as federal law enforcement officers very seriously and are proud to represent an agency that people can count on. We and our partners, both prosecutors and law enforcement alike, will not tolerate any situation where someone is in the community falsely presenting themselves as a member of law enforcement.”

Foster contacted a female victim pretending to be an ATF Special Agent in order to encourage the victim to file a restraining order against her own family member. Foster, posing as the ATF Special Agent, supposedly had an ongoing investigation into one of the family members associated with the victim about alleged violent comments that were made toward their family. 

The female victim reached out to a Deputy Sheriff in the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office. The Deputy Sheriff contacted Foster, who continued to pretend he was an ATF Special Agent conducting an investigation. The Deputy Sheriff suspected Foster was being disingenuous about his status as a law enforcement officer and contacted a Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office Task Force Officer (TFO) who is assigned full-time to ATF’s Baltimore Field Division. The TFO learned that the real ATF Special Agent whose identity Foster was using was working in the Houston Field Division in Texas, and that he had never spoken with the female victim or the Deputy Sheriff.

Ultimately, Foster was identified as an impersonator, and he met with the TFO on March 29, 2019 where he confessed. When Foster was asked why he had chosen this law enforcement officer to impersonate, Foster stated that he had knowledge of who the ATF Special Agent was from Foster’s previous employment at a federal agency outside of ATF.

He is sentenced to one year of supervised release, mental health counseling, $2,000 fine, 120 hours of community service, and no contact with the female victim.


Baltimore Field Division